Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Book 240: Greetings from Nowhere

Greetings from Nowhere, by Barbara O'Connor, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008.

Greetings from Nowhere is about four main characters, five if you count the motel, which I would.  Every character has his or her own story, and, of course, the stories will overlap during the course of the book.

There is something so very sweet about Barbara O'Connor's characters.  On the surface, they seem simple, lacking complexity and perhaps even facile, but that is only because she does not write down every word of their stories.  She leaves it to the readers to fill in the framework of the characters' story, and, so, no two people will ever read this book the same way.  In a way, the reader becomes part of the book.  If the reader chooses to skim this book, the characters may never take on life beyond these two hundred or so pages.  If the reader, instead, tries to relate to the characters, tries to see the world from the characters' point of view, then the characters will gain depth and complexity and even immortality.

It doesn't take me long to read a Barbara O'Connor -- three or four hours, maybe -- but her characters will stay with me for a very long time.

A writer with a light touch should not be mistaken for a light-weight writer.

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